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Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Don’t Underestimate What You Don’t Know

This is the second in my series of articles on IT Transformation Hints. Welcome back, if you’re following along. If you haven't read my earlier blog, you might want to check it out: IT Transformation – Top 10 Hints.

 

We've all heard the phrase hundreds of times in our careers - "You don't know what you don't know." But it's never been truer than in Transformation. Most people have a good feel for their physical inventory (devices, servers, storage, etc.). It might not be an exact inventory, but it's probably good enough to start transformation. From there, most environments get a little fuzzier.

 

Starting with storage, you may know how much is installed, but do you really know how it is all allocated and which systems are accessing the data? What about applications? Do you know where all your source code is? Do you know who all the users of particular applications are? What about functionality? Do you have a good handle on what each of your apps does and where its input comes from, as well as where its output goes?

 

In honesty, and I know some people will be offended at this: Finance tends to be the most problematic. Not that the financial systems aren't strong, and not that the finance teams aren't talented, but everyone follows their own procedures. As you move between business units in your corporation, not to mention countries if you are multinational, you'll find many accurate but not necessarily compatible budgets. I've worked with companies that have no idea what their network spend is or what makes up their depreciation. Maintenance is put in different budgets. Services are in consulting in one BU, but in personnel in another. It all works for the people owning the budget, but when you try to analyze it, things gets very complex.

 

So, for some of you I've stated the obvious. But the point is that as much information as you think you have, there is a lot more you have to gather and understand. Don't underestimate the effort you'll have to put into compiling and analyzing the data. Your tendency might be to plow ahead, figuring that you'll figure things out as you go, but there are risks to this approach. First, you will have scheduling issues (time and resources) if you under- or over-estimate your infrastructure and application inventory. Second, Transformations are big initiatives, and a lot of eyes will be on you. Mistakes in financials or meeting commitments will reflect poorly on you.

 

The good news though is that you don't have to be 100% accurate to start transformation. But you do need a high level of accuracy. And remember, keep your measurements consistent.

 

As a reminder for those of you that haven't yet viewed the video (or want to watch it again. :smileywink:)

 

Watch the video: Episode Overview: Top 10 Tips for Planning Your IT Transformation

 

Learn more about HP Data Center Transformation Services and how we can help you to know what you need to know.

 

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About the Author
Mark joined HP in January 2007 as a Business Consultant for the Data Center Transformation team. His role is to assist HP customers in dete...


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